We sang along with Elmo's Song the whole way to school, and I felt that same heart-sickness. I knew he'd have an aid. But I didn't know anything about the concert he was going to attend other than what I saw on the website. I learned a long time ago that I can't go. He has a horrendous time if I go. Much better if I don't. So I have to let go of wanting to be the mommy who's there all the time so he'll have a great time, even though he'll never tell me about it.
And he didn't.
He got home safely. When he got in the van, he had a broken chain of purple beads with stars, and the sweet lady who helped him in the van (she's been around him since the first days in school) smiled and said she didn't know where he got them, but he's not letting them go. "Guess they're his now!"
I asked if he had a good day.
"Didja go to a concert today, buddy?"
"Well, I'm glad you're home. It's good to see you, punkin."
At home, I saw that he had a happy face/sad face on his conduct place for the day. It takes a lot for his teacher to put a sad face, so I'm thinking that he had a great time on the bus and when they got back to school, he was likely not happy to be there.
He is verbal. Sorta. He can speak. He can certainly speak more than nonverbal people. He can communicate a lot of things, but just to help you understand, he usually communicates less effectively than his two year old sister. The happy times in the van, singing with the Sesame Street CD, he struggles to get the words out. They usually are not intelligible except to those who know the song or really know Ryan. We are grateful for the words he has, but it's hard not to grieve for the words and communication he doesn't have. Without leading questions, we usually can't even discern if he's in pain. Then usually we don't know where. We feel along, and if he has a fever, he goes to the doctor.
He did tell me "burger" on the way to school today. I asked if he wanted a burger for dinner tonight, and he said "burger" again. As he slowly climbed out of the van, i showered him with the same things as usual. What he can expect from this afternoon (Ms. B), have a good day, love you, bye-bye, that kind of thing. Sometimes he looks at me, but usually he shuts the van door, stims a bit, runs to the no-parking sign on the brick support next to the drop-off area and reads it to the lady who helps him out of the van and to the door. Okay, so she keeps him from getting run over by my van.
I'm proud of him... I'm proud of Richie and Maelynn, who brought him his shoes without being asked this morning.
Who say "bye, pal Ryan!" when he gets out of the van.
Who love him even though he ignores them, and at times treats them like toys.
Who go with him to therapy, even insisting that he have a hug and kiss before he goes in.
The same kids who cry because they don't understand why Ryan gets to go in the room with all the nice toys while they sit in the hall with whatever mom brought to entertain.
And Ryan, the same kid who will put a pillow on his brother's head on the couch and nearly jump on it if I don't watch, will beg for Richie and Mae-Mae when they're not around.
I've even caught him hugging both of them a few times. He's even let Richie fall asleep right by him before.
Yep, I don't have time to do this, but I'm proud of my kids. And as we seek the next step in helping... raising... accessing Ryan, I have to hang on to that... and even tighter, to this:
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11
Yes, my boy is fearfully and wonderfully made, and before he was formed God knew who he would be. I will seek, I will do my best for him. And at the end of the day, when I know I've done what I can, I will rest in the promises of our Father. I just had to tell you that... before I got crazy busy with the insanity that is Wednesday for the Senzigs... and I forgot.
Thanks be to God!